Bittersweet. That’s the only way to describe the feeling of emptying my home and deep cleaning it for the first time since … well …
My wife and I knew that the first difficult pill to swallow would be to sell most of the stuff in our house. After all, we aren’t robots and we’re not above feeling an attachment to things. We’re somewhat like everybody else. As Kristina said before, when she had to sell her prized World Market rug, it was like daggers in her heart. For me, getting rid of some things has been tougher than others. One of the harder parts for me has been tossing out some of my childhood toys that I saved, those action figures that my children finally had an opportunity to destroy. It wasn’t that I even touched them or much cared about them … it was just that they had been a part of my life for 27 years. I’ve only known my family longer than some of these bizarrely-shaped pieces of plastic.
But it’s just stuff. Some of it may be collector items, sure. But I’m not in the business of collecting. Not now.
And honestly, the memories that I had with some of this junk will always be with me … so it’s not like keeping the physical object around is going to do much more to help me reflect. I found that the hardest part is actually putting the stuff in the trash bag or in the ‘sell’ pile that has overtaken my garage. The easiest part was probably teaching my kids how to light Rowdy Roddy Piper on fire.
As for the rest? The TVs. The computers. The coffee tables. The copies of the acclaimed “The Age of Eisenberg” sitting around the house. It can all be replaced later in life or simply forgotten. I don’t think back to the first TV I ever had and I’m certainly not going to think back to this one, either.
Aside from sentimental objects such as a box of photos or home videos, about the only things staying with me are my hobby materials. My acoustic guitar. My sketch book. My iPod. My kids.
Furniture? Gone, or at the least, going. A pool table that I had always wanted and we just bought earlier this year? Already sold. Top-of-the-line(-for-my-price-range) appliances? Going with the house. Clothes? I’ve pulled out a good portion of my wardrobe for the Salvation Army, including those ghastly t-shirts they give out at work for special occasions.
The house is looking pretty bare right now and it’s only going to get worse as we apply for another garage sale permit (we had a permit for a few weeks ago and didn’t get a chance to have the sale so… hopefully that doesn’t hurt us.) We’ve been active on Facebook Marketplace and have dealt with every Pawn Stars-wannabe deal maker in the York/Mecklenburg county area. “Twenty dollars? I’ll give ya 17 fer it!” I mean, you’ve already driven 30 miles to my house to buy this bar stool … why are you trying to negotiate down three bucks. As if I have change for a twenty dollar bill? Quick tip: never have ‘cash’ on hand when these people show up.
I would guess that we’ve already sold or pitched $3,000 worth of stuff (based on original value.) We might have gotten back 15% on those investments, at best. Hey, we’re obviously not in the business of making money, anymore – this is a home liquidation sale! EVERYTHING MUST GO!
So yes, eating dinner on the floor has been fun for the kids and mostly just reminds me of our first apartment. Storing my clothes in a pile on the floor has been a little annoying. Trying to find any of my stuff (what little is left) has somehow gotten harder even with less stuff. (You really should see it; my wife is a modern day magician with junk drawers.) But the Bellamy family adapts and, most importantly, we haven’t even noticed much difference because we still have the thing we all care most about: ice cream. Wait. I mean … each other.